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Volume 21 , Issue 3
May/June 2008

Pages 253–258

Effect of a Jig on EMG Activity in Different Orofacial Pain Conditions

Celine Bodere, DDS, PhD/Alain Woda, DDS, PhD

PMID: 18548966

Purpose: The bite stop (jig) is commonly used in clinical practice. It has been recommended as a simple means to routinely record or provide centric relation closure and, more recently, to reduce migraines and tension-type headaches. However, the reason for the jig effect has yet to be explained. This study tested the hypothesis that it works through a decrease in masticatory muscle activity. Materials and Methods: The effect of a jig placed on the maxillary anterior teeth was investigated by recording the electromyographic (EMG) activity of the superficial masseter and anterior temporal muscles at postural position and when swallowing on the jig. EMG recordings were obtained from 2 groups of pain patients (myofascial and neuropathic) and from 2 groups of pain-free patients (disc derangement and controls) unaware of the role of dental occlusion treatments. Results: EMG activity in postural position was higher in pain groups than in pain-free groups. The jig strongly but temporarily decreased the postural EMG activity for masseter muscles in all groups except for the neuropathic group and for temporal muscles in the myofascial group. The EMG activity when swallowing with the jig was reduced in control, disc derangement, and myofascial groups; however, EMG “hyperactivity” in the neuropathic pain group seemed to be locked. Conclusions: The decrease of postural EMG activity, especially in the myofascial group, was short lasting and cannot be considered as evidence to support the hypothesis of a long-term muscle relaxation jig effect. However, the results may uphold certain short-term clinical approaches. Int J Prosthodont 2008;21:253–258.

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